UK house price growth has fallen to its lowest since 2013 as stamp duty rules continue to bite

Emma Haslett
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House price growth was weak last month (Source: Getty)

UK house price growth fell to its lowest since May 2013 in March, suggesting house price growth has slowed again.

Figures by Halifax showed house prices crept up 3.8 per cent in the year to March, below the 5.1 per cent they grew in the year to February, and way below the 10 per cent they peaked at a year ago.

In the three months between January and March, prices edged up 0.1 per cent, compared with the quarter before, the lowest quarterly rate of change since October 2016.

However, Halifax also pointed out that average prices increased by more than average earnings in 31 per cent of local authorities, with the biggest gap in Haringey in London.

Meanwhile, total sales of UK homes fell one per cent between January and February, suggesting consumers are holding off on buying new homes.

However, figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors suggest supply is still tight, with the number of properties coming onto the market falling in February for the 12th month in a row.

Steady if unspectacular

Figures published yesterday by the Centre for Economics and Business Research suggested underwhelming house price growth is likely to continue through the rest of the year.

The think tank said the market will put on a "steady if unspectacular" performance, with prices rising 4.4 per cent over the whole of 2017, compared with 7.4 per cent last year.

Weakness in the capital

Meanwhile, price growth in London is continuing to fall. At the beginning of this week a ranking of global cities by house price growth showed the capital had fallen out of the top 50, overtaken by Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham, whose prices all grew faster.

“Currently, our housing market is meeting the demands of a minority, not the majority," said Jeremy Duncombe, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club.

"The market is hindered by a distinct lack of affordable housing across all tenures. Until we see the thousands of affordable homes the government has promised us, the industry will continue to outprice the average homebuyer.

"It is now time for the government to start putting into action the pledges from the Housing White Paper and restructure our housing market once and for all.”

Read more: Thousands of homes are being built in London. Why's there a housing crisis?

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